Sturgeon Fishing in Wisconsin

Wisconsinites and fish go way back. About 136 million years, give or take. Alright, Wisconsin wasn’t “Wisconsin” back then, but the prehistoric lake sturgeon was around during the time of the dinosaurs. Once considered a nuisance, this living relic is renowned for its caviar. The fish itself is delicious smoked and their skins can be tanned for leather.

Wisconsin is a leader in preservation of the species. This is especially important since sturgeon don’t reproduce until their 20s or 30s, and then only spawn every three to five years. Today, Wisconsin has the largest self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon in North America, with the highest concentration around the Lake Winnebago area.

This year kicks off the 81st consecutive year of sturgeon fishing on Lake Winnebago. When it comes to open season timing is everything. Spearing opens the second Saturday in February and runs for 16 days. It can close earlier if the cap quota is met. (Hook-and-line fishing season typically runs from July to November.)

Our friends at the Wisconsin DNR predict a great year for sturgeon fishing. The population is robust with a lot of opportunity for some trophy fish! If you’re lucky enough to catch one of these prehistoric creatures, be prepared to use your muscles. A female sturgeon can weigh 300 pounds.

Here are the details for this year’s festivities:

What: Sturgeon Spearing on Lake Winnebago
Fishermen 12 years and older with a sturgeon fishing license (the deadline was Oct. 31)
Lake Winnebago
Oshkosh, WI 54901
6:30 am on February 9 through 12:30 pm February 24, 2013

This entry was posted in Winter, Blog, Seasonal and tagged Sturgeon Fishing, Sturgeon Spearing, Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin DNR, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources